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About Us

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Scientists in Parks

The Scientists in Parks Program is administered by the National Park Service (NPS) along with several non-governmental partner organizations; Stewards Individual Placements, the Ecological Society of America, and the Geological Society of America. 


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National Park Service

The National Park Service (NPS) protects and celebrates America’s natural and cultural heritage in over 400 places. These locations include wilderness and natural regions in all the ecosystems of the U.S. and its territories; buildings, sites, and monuments that commemorate our multicultural history; and urban green spaces that support recreation and protect the unique biodiversity of cities. Whether it’s a vast wilderness area, a Civil War battlefield, a unique geological feature, a historic home, or a scenic river, there is a unit of the National Park System in every state and territory of the U.S.

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Stewards Individual Placements

Stewards Individual Placements (Stewards) is a program of Conservation Legacy. It offers land and water management agencies and other non-profit organizations opportunities to accomplish specific projects by providing individual placements (internships) on public lands. Participants work with federal agencies, tribal governments, and nonprofits building institutional capacity, developing community relationships, and supporting ecosystem health.

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Ecological Society of America

The Ecological Society of America (ESA) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization of scientists founded in 1915. Our mission is to advance the science and practice of ecology and support ecologists throughout their educational and professional careers. ESA is the nation’s largest community of professional ecologists. Our 9,000 plus members teach, conduct research, and use ecological science to address environmental issues. 

We offer a suite of scientific journals, professional training, certification, networking at our annual meeting, and opportunities for ecologists. ESA envisions a future where people embrace science to understand and foster a thriving planet.

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The Geological Society of America

The Geological Society of America (GSA) is a global scientific society with members from academia, government, and industry in more than 100 countries. Through its meetings, publications, and programs, GSA enhances the professional growth of geoscientists at all career levels, encourages cooperative research among earth, life, planetary, and social scientists, fosters public dialogue on geoscience issues, and promotes the geosciences in the service of humankind.

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Environment for the Americas

Environment for the Americas (EFTA) is a nonprofit organization that is committed to providing environmental education opportunities and materials throughout the Western Hemisphere, with the primary goal of improving public understanding of shared resources and their conservation. EFTA believes providing opportunities for youth to become involved in science and natural resource careers is key to ensuring the protection and future existence of quality public lands and wildlife habitat. EFTA is committed to increasing participation in environmental education and outdoor recreation across all demographics and has conducted research and efforts to reduce barriers to participation since 2009.

Our Story

In 2021, the National Park Service launched the inaugural year of the the Scientists in Parks (SIP) program. The SIP Program provides participants with a high-quality work experience that inspires and develops the next generation of natural resource management park stewards, and fosters a life-long connection to the National Park System. SIP positions vary considerably in complexity, length, discipline, and skill set, in accordance with the particular needs of NPS units and abilities of the participants.


Past projects have mapped sand dunes at Fire Island National Seashore, surveyed towering cacti at Saguaro National Park, and protected nesting sea turtles at Padre Island National Seashore. Others assessed pika populations at Rocky Mountain National Park, measured soils beneath the mangrove forests of Everglades National Park, and restored colorful corals beneath the waves at the National Park of American Samoa.

The program is committed to providing all aspiring professionals—especially those underrepresented in science—with a unique opportunity to work on important real-world projects while building professional experience and a life-long connection to America’s national parks.

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